CITY Hall is to undertake a major structural and mechanical survey of the car parks on Paul Street and North Main Street in 2019.
As part of the process, the local authority will assess the need for facilities and business upgrades, with all works expected to move ahead next year.
A tender process is currently underway to find a contractor to do the work, Cork City Council roads director Gerry O’Beirne has confirmed.
Mr O’Beirne was responding to a query from Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Martin, who described the current situation with the City Council-run parking facilities as a ‘wasted opportunity.’
The most recent figures issued by City Hall show a 12% increase in car park occupancy since the introduction of parking incentives in August at the two car parks. Individual occupancy figures were not provided.
“Lavitt’s Quay is doing alright but North Main Street needs to be totally refurbished,” Mr Martin said.
“Lighting is out of date, ticket infrastructure is out of date. There is no electric charging points either. The opening hours don’t allow for late evening parking, either. Ultimately, people don’t feel safe in there late at night in its current state.”
Mr Martin said that City Hall needs to take a more business-focused approach to resolve the issues.
“We should be offering places to the Mercy Hospital staff and visitors at package rates,” he said.
“We could have struck a deal with Cork Opera House to use Paul Street. The opportunities have been there and we have missed them.”
Mr Martin said that many of the issues in North Main Street relate to the still-vacant Dunnes Stores unit in the shopping centre. With that occupied, footfall and parking would improve vastly, he said.
“If a private company owned that car park, you can be sure that it wouldn’t be as quiet as it is,” he added.